Traveler’s Corner: Family Safari in Kenya

August 27, 2021  By: Gretchen

Twenty years ago, Mary and Mark had such a memorable safari in East Africa, they had been dreaming about going back ever since. They decided to take their boys Aidan and Ian to Kenya before Aidan headed off to college, as travel opportunities for the whole family would become more challenging after his departure.

family breakfast

While they enjoyed their entire Kenya safari, staying at Sarara Camp in Kenya’s Samburu country was the big highlight for their family. Set in the Matthews Mountain Range in an 850,000-acre wildlife conservancy, they found the service at Sarara to be incredibly personalized and the activities to be unique. They were able to do many things ‘outside of the safari vehicle,’ including mountain hikes, bush walks, watching wildlife from the pool, visiting a nearby elephant sanctuary and special community activities. With their super active 16- and 18-year-old boys, it was the perfect camp to enjoy all that Kenya has to offer with a variety of ways to experience it.

family with guide

Their Samburu warrior guides made for an authentic experience in a very wild land. Their openness in sharing their knowledge of the bush and how their tribe works with and survives in nature was a gift. Between the bush, mountains and wildlife, this was the most remote and untamed place they visited. Being welcomed to visit the nearby Singing Wells – a place where the local Samburu tribe waters their livestock, who come to drink when they hear their family’s song being sung – was very moving. The same area attracts large numbers of elephants in the evening, making it a special place to visit any time of day!

mother and baby zebra

The family also enjoyed visiting the Laikipia Plateau based at Elewana Lewa Safari Camp. One of the unique aspects of this area is the chance to see some unique species including the rare Grevy’s zebra and large numbers of black and white rhino. The landscape is also breathtakingly beautiful with Mount Kenya serving as a dramatic backdrop. They especially loved their walking safari.

rhino up close

In the famous Masai Mara they had a range of excellent wildlife sightings. They had the chance to see the Great Migration, and in addition to the thousands of wildebeest and zebra they saw on the plains, they were able to witness the rare sight of a river crossing of several hundred! They also saw two sister lions make a kill!

lions by game drive vehicle

On another game drive, the family came upon four male cheetahs that had just made a kill. Later, they saw a huge male lion with a magnificent mane playing with or possibly courting a female. At one point, the lions got up and chased a baby elephant in an attempted hunt. Mary, Mark and the boys found it amazing to see the elephants’ organization in protecting their youngest charge. They sent out one younger male as a decoy – he trumpeted and charged – as others circled and protected the baby.

elephants

Mary remarked that each of their guides was amazing. They were incredibly knowledgeable, shared a huge amount of information and were endlessly engaging. They ensured that every day was different – every day had a special highlight. This was the perfect pre-college family vacation!

“I wanted to thank you for your guidance and planning for our trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better, more special 12 days!!“ – Mary S.

Do you want to take a family safari?